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Wednesday, July 14, 2004


Following are Dark Horse Comics' solicitations for October, with information coming from the publisher.


Written and art by Meimu.

In 2002, The Ring came to American silver screens and brought a whole new style of horror and suspense to the States. Based on a series of novels by Suzuki Koji, The Ring became a media franchise in Japan with its fascinatingly creepy, yet scientific and otherworldly subject matter. Not to mention its very scary "monster," the spirit of a girl whose body was dropped in a well many years past. As you'll find reading through Dark Horse's series of Ring manga, this story is rich with an undergrowth of science and hatred, of strong will behind the murderous ghost of Sadako.

"Birthday," the fourth in a series of five Ring manga, is a trilogy of stories, each enriching the main storyline of the Ring series. "The Casket Floating in the Sky" centers on Mai Takano, and how she becomes wrapped deeper into Sadako's grasp. "Lemon Heart" tells of one of Sadako's early loves, and eerily wraps itself back into the plotline of Mai Takano. And finally the "Sadako" story goes into the depths of both Sadako's death and her rebirth. Slowly, the details of how The Ring truly works are trickling out into the daylight.

160 pages, black and white, $12.95, in stores on Nov. 17.


Written and art by Hiroaki Samura.

"Last Blood, part 5 of 5. With revenge-lust hanging thick in the air, our main event is the deadly showdown between the starving and weakened Anotsu and his crazed, quick Shingyötö-ryü opponent, Iriya. Makie has evened out the playing field in a bloody flurry that puts Kill Bill Vol. 1 to shame, while Manji and Magatsu try to survive separate dogfights with Shingyötö-ryü swordsmen on the sidelines. Manji battles in order to be reunited with his beloved Rin, Magatsu engages his opponent in order to defend Anotsu, and any survivors of these gory encounters will face each other and their own shifting, uneasy alliances! This issue's dramatic cover mirrors the intensity inside, as Samura continues to reinvent the bushidö grudge match with a sharp, modern edge.

32 pages, black and white, $2.99, in stores on Oct. 13.


Written by Roy Thomas, art by John Buscema and Neal Adams.

In the eight decades that have passed since prolific pulp writer Robert E. Howard created his seminal Sword and Sorcery adventurer, Conan, many other scribes have tried to recreate the passion and energy Howard infused into his stories. Few have come as close as comics writer Roy Thomas did during his long and influential run on Marvel's monthly Conan the Barbarian series back in the 1970s. Collaborating with the most acclaimed and talented artists of the time, Thomas wove a narrative tapestry of action, intrigue, and heroism that¹s as powerful today as it was when it was published nearly 30 years ago.

160 pages, $15.95, in stores on Nov. 24.


Written by Kurt Busiek, art by Cary Nord and Thomas Yeates, colored by David Stewart, cover by Leinil Francis Yu.

In the first arc, Conan discovered the horrible secrets of Hyperborea, a land he imagined to be wondrous and beautiful. Now he ventures into an even more treacherous setting‹civilization. The world of bar fights and women opens up to the barbarian, and he realizes that it's possible to thrive even in a world that disgusts you. However, powerful forces take note of Conan, and one of the greatest evils in the ancient world is about to enter his life.

32 pages, $2.99, in stores on Oct. 20.


Written by Jimmy Palmiotti, art by Mark Texeira.

A king's favorite daughter is kidnapped by his sorceror advisor, and only Conan can save the girl--with the aid of the second daughter, who the king won't consider as a successor to the throne. Harsh terrain and the wizard's horde of zombie warriors -- and other treachery -- stand between Conan and the beautiful young heiress. This is the hard-drinking, bare-knuckled, older Conan, in a story set years later than the events in the current ongoing series.

48 pages, $4.99, in stores on Oct. 6.


Written by Jeremy Love, art by Robert Love and Jeff Wasson.

He's badly wounded. One of his allies has betrayed him. Now, the FBI is closing in, the Zodiacs have him on the run, and the only woman he can trust has been captured. Past events come full circle and the stage is set for the final showdown in the slums of Kingston, Jamaica.

32 pages, $2.99, in stores on Oct. 13.


Written and art by Masamune Shirow.

This second edition features the original Japanese size and additional material not published in previous U.S. editions. Deep into the 21st century, the line between man and machine has been inexorably blurred as humans rely on the enhancement of mechanical implants and robots are upgraded with human tissue. In this rapidly converging landscape, cyborg super-agent Major Motoko Kusanagi is charged to track down the craftiest and most dangerous terrorists and cybercriminals, including "ghost hackers," capable of exploiting the human/machine interface by re-programming human minds to become puppets to carry out their criminal ends. When Major Kusanagi tracks the cybertrail of one such master hacker, the Puppeteer, her quest leads her into a world beyond information and technology where the very nature of consciousness and the human soul are turned upside-down and inside-out.

368 pages, black and white, $24.95, in stores on Oct. 6.


Written and art by Eric Powell.

The Goon's town is set in no time and has no name ... but did you know it had a football team? Hearken back to the days of leather-helmet, iron-man football, as four-time Eisner nominee Eric Powell shows how a young up-and-coming leg breaker for the Labrazio family (the Goon, ya simpleton) had a hand in forming the team that gave hope to the downtrodden populace living with poverty, constant gang war, and an insurgence of flesh-eating zombies.

32 pages, $2.99, in stores on Oct. 20.


Written and art by Kohta Hirano.

Intense and full of psychotic action, Hellsing continues its fevered pitch into a dark chaos that defies human logic. Human? Well, there are only a few left in the storyline as the emerging Millennium Project, an army of Nazi undead, is unleashed upon the world. What will surely ensue is a war of blood and nostalgia, with a coolly gothic style and increasingly frenetic pace. Envision the Hindenburg, old sharpshooter rifles and throwback uniforms, mixed with new jet technology and incredibly bold vampires. Hellsing is packed to the gills with radical mysticism and scary apocalypse ... and it's fun as Hell.

208 pages, black and white, $13.95.


Written by John Stanley, art by Iving Tripp.

Long before the days of pint-sized, chemically powered, supergirl trios, there was one very special little girl who earned generations of fans and helped make the world a better place using only her natural smarts, her big heart, and a healthy dose of sass. From her first appearances in The Saturday Evening Post in the mid-1930s through her current long-running daily cartoon show on HBO Family, Little Lulu has been a beloved cultural icon all over the world. Now, Dark Horse Books is proud to present‹for the first time ever‹the complete run of classic Marge's Little Lulu comics in a reader-friendly series of affordable paperback volumes. Whether she¹s outsmarting Tubby and his fellow "Boys Only Club" members in the name of fairness and equality, weaving hilarious tall tales to entertain the irascible tot Alvin, or simply using her keen wit to think her way out of a million impossible situations, Little Lulu remains one of the most lovable comic-book heroines ever. As fresh and funny today as they were decades ago, these classic comics will keep you laughing and reading for ages.

200 pages, black and white, $9.95, in stores on Nov. 17.


Written and art by various, cover by Matt Kindt.

Following in the footsteps of the massively successful Volume One, the second volume of Michael Chabon Presents the Amazing Adventures of the Escapist collects issues three and four of the likewise popular quarterly series. Among the stories in this volume:

"To Reign in Hell" by Brian K. Vaughan and Roger Petersen; "Heil and Fear Well" by Marv Wolfman, Joe Staton, and R. Sikoryak; "The Trial of Judy Dark" by Kevin McCarthy and Dean Haspiel; "The EscapeNot" by Paul Hornschemeier; "Escapist 2966" by Stuart Moore and Steve Conley; "The Boy Who Would Be the Escapist" by Kevin McCarthy and C. Scott Morse; and "Chain Reaction" by Matt Kindt. Plus historical text by Roy Thomas and a bevy of pinups by Mike Mignola, John Cassaday, Farel Dalrymple, Jim Mahfood, and more!

160 pages, $17.95, in stores on Nov. 10.


Written and art by various, cover by John Cassaday.

The Champion of Liberation triumphantly reappears at center stage! This classic character and his web of intriguing associates have been foiling diabolical evildoers since 1940, and in dozens of different "captivating" incarnations. The Master of Elusion, empowered by popular interest in Michael Chabon's Pulitzer-winning account of his creators, has evaded the shackles of history.

In our fourth fabulous issue, writer Stuart Moore (Lone) teams up with Steve Conley to present a glimpse of the future in "Escapist 3966." Indie favorite Scott Morse illustrates Kevin McCarthy's story, "The Boy Who Would Be the Escapist," and Matt Kindt, creator of the critically celebrated Mephisto and Pistolwhip, shares the find of the decade with faithful fans: "Chain Reaction," a long-lost Escapist story that should never have existed! Also included for our lifelong enthusiasts and comics history buffs are the fascinating reflections of Roy Thomas, veteran comics scribe, on the Silver Age glory days of the Escapist.

80 pages, $8.95, in stores on Oct. 13.


Written by Joe Casey, art by Steve Parkhouse.

The suburban nightmare hits the big city, as our little mother, possessed by a monstrous spirit of vengeance, seeks out the mysterious milkman. In the dangerous waters of the urban scene, Barbara gets more than she bargained for out of her change of scenery.

The most shocking new entry in the Dark Horse horror line concludes in a bloodbath. Barbara's confrontation with her role model, the TV mom, packs even more surprises in the wrap up.

32 pages, $2.99, in stores on Oct. 13.


Written by Billy Tucci and J.C. Vaughn, art by Tucci.

Ana, in the guise of Shi, must take the stage as the Kyoto Sohei's vengeance-themed Kabuki is literally brought to life before a terrified audience held hostage. Steel will smash against steel as Ana attempts to save the trapped Sohei and parishioners against the maddened Lady Kaoyo and her 100 warriors. The conclusion to Dark Horse's premiere Shi series that will change her universe forever.

32 pages, $2.99, in stores on Oct. 20.


Written by Haden Blackman and Welles Hartley, art by Matt Fillbach and Shawn Fillbach.

Inspired by the Cartoon Network's Clone Wars cartoons, this series tells new stories of heroism and villainy in the same stripped-down visual style.

In the rolling asteroid rings above a remote planet, General Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker play a deadly game of cat and mouse against Separatist droid fighters--and a squadron of highly skilled human pilots who have pledged their guns to Count Dooku. Find out why Anakin is known as the greatest pilot in the galaxy.

Also in this volume, Jedi Master Luminara Unuli and her Padawan Barriss Offee race against time to evacuate farmers and their families before the droid forces of General Grievous overrun their village. When Barriss and her squad of clone troopers are caught in the path of the enemy army, only fast thinking and steel resolve can save the day.

96 pages, $6.95, in stores on Nov. 10.


Written by John Ostrander, Haden Blackman and Jeremy Barlow, art by Tomas Giorello, Brandon Badeaux and Hoon.

"Try us all, these times do. In this war, unsheathed must all of the Jedi's blades be. Survive constant use, even the best blades cannot." --Master Yoda

The darkest days of the Clone Wars have arrived, when even victories are cause for abiding sorrow; when the hopes for a brighter future are lost in the turmoil of a divided galaxy; and when friendships are tools of convenience and the reason for betrayals. From political intrigue within the Senate to bloody battlefields on exotic worlds, the war has left its mark on the bystanders as well as the combatants, and the events in this wide-ranging volume reveal the extent of the damage.

Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker battle for survival, Senator Bail Organa struggles to preserve freedom within the Republic, and Master Yoda strives to prevent an old friend from plunging a system into war in four exciting stories from the Clone Wars!

144 pages, $14.95, in stores on Nov. 24.


Written by Ron Marz, art by Adriana Melo, cover by Tommy Lee Edwards.

Luke Skywalker and the Red Squadron are flying escort for a secret Rebel intelligence operation on a supposedly unpopulated planet, when they run into an unexpected Imperial patrol. With half the squad trapped on the ground, and the secrecy of the mission in peril, things don't look like they could get any worse for the Rebels. But then Luke makes a discovery that hearkens back to the galaxy's last major conflict--the Clone Wars--and it's a surprise that could either save them, or destroy them!

Another groundbreaking story that helps to tie the prequel films to the original Trilogy--in a way that will surprise and excite Star Wars fans of every generation!

32 pages, $2.99, in stores on Oct. 27.


Written by John Ostrander, art by Jan Duursema and Dan Parsons, cover by Duursema and Brand Anderson.

"The Dreadnaughts of Rendili," part 2 of 3.

Mutineers have taken hostages and are planning to turn over a fleet of Republic warships to the Separatists. Despite the fact that one of the hostages is his friend, and fellow Jedi Council member Plo Koon, Saesee Tiin believes that destroying the fleet may be the only hope of saving the Republic. But Anakin Skywalker has a plan. The plan calls for daredevil flying, split-second timing, and an untested new weapon--so, of course, Anakin is sure of success!

Meanwhile, trapped on a derelict research ship carrying many dangerous species of animals from around the galaxy, Obi-Wan faces his most hated enemy--alone.

Featuring a guest appearance by a character well-known to fans of the original Star Wars films.

32 pages, $2.99, in stores on Oct. 27.


By Mohiro Kitoh, Makoto Kobayashi, Kenichi Sonoda, Yuzo Takada, Hiroyuki Utatane and Yo Morimoto.

A salacious Seraphic Feather cover starts this issue's engine, followed by two episodes of this sci-fi saga. Our heroes are still trapped aboard a doomed, cislunar shuttle. Makoto Kobayashi's Eisner-Nominated What's Michael? series turns its playful gaze on a man who has somehow earned the protection of the entire animal kingdom! In Club 9, naïve Haruo is blindsided by a suitor's shocking proposition. Shadow Star revisits the homicidal teens behind the Shadow Dragon conspiracy, offering more clues about Takeo Tsurumaru's twisted schemes. Two episodes of Kenichi Sonoda's Cannon God Exaxxion barrel us down a continuing sci-fi thrill ride, populated by killer robots, manipulative aliens, and one hotheaded, teen savior.

128 pages, black and white, $5.99, in stores on Oct. 27.


Written by Joss Whedon, Ben Edlund, Jane Espensonand Brett Matthews, art by Drew Goodard, Tim Sale and Scott Morse, cover by Mike Mignola.

The creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer reunites with the writers from his hit TV shows including Tick creator and Angel Executive Producer Ben Edlund for an imaginative and frightening look into the history of vampires in the world of the Slayer. Intricately woven around a central story by Whedon featuring a group of young Watchers in training meeting their first undead, Whedon's staff of writers present stories ranging from medieval times to the Depression to today, as well as Buffy's rematch with Dracula and Angels ongoing battle with his own demons. Wrapped in a haunting cover by Hellboy creator Mike Mignola. Collecting the five issue mini-series.

144 pages, $15.95, in stores on Nov. 24.


Written and art by Yasuhiro Nightow.

Trigun Maximum Volume 3 is intensity embodied‹a front to back fight! Vash the Stampede and the mysterious Wolfwood versus the terribly resilient Gray the Ninelives and one of Yasuhiro Nightow's most curious villains, the completely frightening puppet master, Leonoff. The Gung-Ho Guns get harder and harder to beat as the philosophical tension between our two heroes grows daily.

The Trigun Max manga includes many aspects and characters from the television show but places them in different situations at different times giving the reader a much more detailed and dramatic idea of who these terrible enemies really are and the rough challenges Vash faces every day.

192 pages, black and white, $9.95, in stores on Nov. 17.


Written and art by Stan Sakai.

Stan Sakai's internationally celebrated creation, Usagi Yojimbo, continues into its 20th year! This issue finds Usagi's surly friend, Gen the bounty hunter, tracking down yet another reward. This bounty has attracted the attention of Gen's archrival, Stray Dog, and is on the head of none other than the murderous Inazuma! The two samurai adversaries are in hot pursuit, neither realizing that the swordswoman has been possessed by the Black Soul. Will the new Blade of the Gods turn her demonic vengeance on "Gen and the Dog"? Find out this month in Usagi Yojimbo.

24 pages, black and white, $2.99, in stores on Oct. 27.

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